To improve skills of writing and speaking those
not specialized in science
(1) to analyze claims made in science-based material and
(2) to present clear, concise, compelling presentations on
science-based topics that affect public and personal concerns.
Toward this broad objective, the course concentrates on
the physical, environmental and societal impact of energy.
Further, it uses:
- Online and print material of verifiable quality.
- Lectures concentrating on key science concepts
- Weekly calculation with accompanying one-page essay putting computed
result in a context. This tests abiliity to find and analyze public
data and writing skills to compare that analysis meaningfully.
- Three talks by each class member:
- Two subjects (from assigned list) presented by teams of three
participants. Each team gives 5-minute talks that combine to deliver
coherent take-home messages for the topics. Team answers questions for
few minutes within 21-minute maximum.
- One final presentation (from assigned list) by each participant.
This 10-minute (plus 3 for questions) will demonstrate mastery of both
- Achieving the writing objective: each student will submit
prior to presentation.
- Topic sentence outline of each talk or talk part (in first two)
- Building to the primary message or take-home message (THM)
- Instructor written comments on talks and outlines/summaries
that identify the three areas most needing improvement.
These comments are not personal attacks but instead
suggestions for improvement.
For Papers and Talks
|Can define topic for particular audience
||Find a limited subject.|
Develop a point of view.
|Can find useful references/illustrations
||In library and on web.
|Can write sentence outline
||Each sentence is a topic sentence.|
This approach can greatly speed up talk-preparation process.
|Each topic sentence is point of one viewgraph.
|Can organize viewgraph to explain viewgraph's point.
|Remove/reorder/rewrite viewgraphs to deliver take-home message.
|By practicing the talk can learn to improve it.
|Can see how criticism of others could be applied to own talk.
Your comments and
suggestions are appreciated.
[Energy Course Home Page]
[Writing Course Home Page]
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